Posts tagged ‘fruit trees’

March 5, 2014

Time for a bit of graft…

So, its March already, and Spring seems to have usurped Winter from its icy throne, temporarily at least…Like me you may be quite sceptical that Winter has given up the ghost completely but it seems the plants and trees are willing to gamble on it. What this all means to the pragmatists here at Abundance HQ is that we need to buck up our ideas a little, stop hibernating and do some grafting….fruit tree grafting, that is!
If you’re interested in learning the art of fruit tree grafting, in identifying your rootstock from your scion, your M26 from your St Julian A and having a go at doing it yourself, then look no further.
We’ll be running a number of open workshops on how to graft apple, plum, and cherry trees using the ‘whip and tongue’ technique throughout March and into April. The workshops are FREE and you will get to take your own tree home with you if you help us graft some more – we’re aiming to graft around 600 trees this year!
What to bring:

> Graftwood: The apple of your eye! If you’ve always wanted to propagate a special apple, plum or cherry tree then nows your chance. Bring graftwood to a session and make some baby trees with it. If you’re unsure how to take cuttings from said tree, check out this youtube video.
> Warm clothes: We will probably be outside for the session (with shelter), so please anticipate a cold day.
> Something to eat and/or drink: If you’re coming for the whole day (which is ideal) you may want to bring a packed lunch.

Below are the dates for the workshops. If you’d like to attend any of them please book a place by emailing or phoning 07984310412 so I have an idea of numbers, as places are limited. N.B. Session dates are subject to change – there may also be more added.


Saturday 8th, 10am – 4pm: Greave House Farm Volunteer Day.
For instructions on how to get to the farm you can look at their website here.

Wednesday 12th, 1pm – 5pm: Student EATS session, The Huerta (behind Yorkshire Artspace, Brown Street, S1)

Sunday 15th, 12pm – 5pm: Public session, venue TBC

Saturday 22nd, 11am – 5pm: Public session, venue TBC

Sunday 30th, 12pm – 5pm: Public session, Meersbrook Allotments


Saturday 5th, 11am – 5pm: Public session, Meersbrook Allotments


Any questions, email

April 2, 2012

Sunshine Grafting



Last weekend St Mary’s Community Centre saw a keen collection of Abundancers
gather to learn the art of apple and pear grafting. The glorious spring sunshine,
daffodils and chirping birds offered an obvious first answer to the question ‘so, why
do we graft?’. On a weekend like this it was hard to think of anything more apt than
bringing new fruit trees to life!

Over the weekend more than 20 people learnt the whys and hows of this method of
propagating fruit trees, which is done to be sure of the quality and type of fruit we
get from the trees.

First of all we sharpened up our Stanley knife skills on practice branches, before
setting about the real rootstock and scions. We grafted these together using what’s
called the ‘whip and tongue’ method. This involves some surprisingly intricate
blade-work and probably a little more concentration than goes along with the other
important tasks of chatting and tea drinking!

We worked with a fantastic collection of apple and pear scions, lovingly collected
from across Sheffield, Coed Hills in south Wales, and an organic orchard in Somerset.
The almost overwhelming number of different scions was a reminder of just how
narrow our commercial range of fruit varieties has become. But by the end of the
weekend it was great to see that we had grafted at least one new tree for each of
these varieties. It will be a few weeks before we know how many have taken, but
hopefully a good number will go on to become fully grown fruit trees. Watch this
space for news of how the trees get on over the spring time!

We will also now be looking for homes for the fruit trees, so if you are interested in
buying or fostering a fruit tree drop us an email at

February 23, 2012

Abundance Grafting Workshops

After the success of the last 2 year’s sessions and after selling/giving away most of our baby trees to various individuals/community groups we will once again be practising and passing on the distinctive skills of fruit tree grafting to anyone who’s interested. We have already been beavering away in our little underground grafting club experimenting with Cherry, Mulberry and Plum trees.
We will be running apple and pear grafting workshops on 2 weekends during March:
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th: HangingWater Allotment Site (weather permitting. map here.). 11am-4pm

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th: St Mary’s Community Centre (map here). 11am-4pm
Please note that the dates and venues are still only provisional.
Grafting is the most common way of propagating fruit trees. We graft in order to be sure of the quality and type of the fruit we get from the trees. In this session you will learn to graft your own apple or pear tree (your choice), and you can then take it home to look after. In the spring when the sap starts rising you will know if you’ve succeeded in grafting it!
Things to consider:
Food – Tea and coffee making facilities will be available. Please bring a packed lunch with you.
Clothing – We may well be outside all day so make sure you’re well wrapped up in case of a cold snap.
Money – The workshops will be free but donations to cover expenses for rootstocks etc are more than welcome.
Tools – We will have all the necessary tools but if you want to bring along your own secateurs/sharp knives they may well be useful.
Booking – If you’d like to come along to learn the art of grafting please get in touch with Daniele on 0114 2580784 or drop us an email at
We hope to see some of you there!
January 24, 2012

Coming up in February…

Pruning Workshops and Spring Seedy Sunday

At first glance February may not seem to be a busy Abundance month but there’s certainly plenty to be getting on with where fruit trees are concerned. Now is the traditional time to prune apple and pear trees and encourage them to fruit as much as possible during the Autumn. In February we’ll be running a weekend of pruning workshops at 2 different residential venues in Nether Edge. We’ll be looking at practical solutions to looking after your fruit trees in urban environments and how to help boost their productivity. Later on in the year we’ll be completing the circle with our tree grafting workshops.

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th February. 11am-3pm, St Andrews rd and Osborne rd, Nether Edge. If you are interested in joining us on either day please contact Daniele on 07535653842 or email to book a place. 

The sessions are free but donations are more than welcome. Bring a packed lunch, warm/waterproof clothes, pruning tools if you have them (saws, secateurs) and any questions you have for our workshop leaders.

Another February date for your diary:

Heeley City Farm (map here)